Pregnancy and child birth is a unique time which can be wonderful but equally puts a lot of strain on a women’s body.
Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash
A ‘normal’ pregnancy lasts anything from 37–40 weeks and although many women flourish during this time, a large percentage of women describe some rather uncomfortable symptoms.
Pregnancy affects almost every system in the body from the cardiovascular system to the respiratory system, urinary system and of course the Musculoskeletal system.
Giving birth can equally go very much to plan but up to 9 in every 10 first time mothers who have a vaginal delivery will experience some sort of tear, graze or episiotomy and 1/4 of women have a caesarian section which of course is major surgery and can have it’s complications.
A Mummy MOT in my opinion is a must for any women 6 weeks + after giving birth either vaginally or with Caesarian section. It is a comprehensive post natal check-up with a Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist who can then guide you towards achieving your goals whether that be getting back to work, return to sport, improving pelvic floor control, being able to return to pain free sex and much more.
So what does a Mummy MOT involve?
The assessment is an hour and starts with a full history of your health and lifestyle pre baby as well as your health and lifestyle post baby along with details of labour and any issues you might be facing since. This might include pelvic floor muscle weakness, urinary incontinence, prolapse, constipation, back or pelvic pain, scarring, difficulty with functional tasks or sleeping, weak pelvic floor or tummy gap. That being said, a Mummy MOT is appropriate for ALL women after childbirth even if you are not experiencing any issues and feel you are recovering well, a thorough check can give you some invaluable tips on how to really recover fully and return to pre-pregnancy fitness or even better!
After an initial chat we will then go on to the physical assessment. This involves a full postural and movement screen looking at how your body functions with different key movements and positions. We will then assess your core strength and control along with checking for any tummy gap (diastasis) and your pelvic floor activation and function. The assessment does include an internal vaginal examination (with your consent) as this can be really helpful in assessing fully any weakness, overactivity or deficiencies in the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is important not only for bladder and bowel control but for supporting our pelvic organs and also enjoyment of sex. Pregnancy and childbirth can put extra strain on the pelvic floor requiring a bit of extra help often afterwards to get them back functioning well again.
Once the assessment is complete, a bespoke plan is put together depending on the unique findings of the assessment and your personal goals. This might include advice and lifestyle modifications, postural correction, pelvic floor strengthening and core work incorporating some Pilates exercises to improve balance, breath control, alignment and coordination.
From there we can work together to build strength further with resistance as appropriate to you and your lifestyle. Other manual techniques such as scar massage or soft tissue release techniques and mobilisations may also be included. Bladder retraining and urge suppression techniques can often really help calm down an overactive bladder. You may be given a bladder and bowel diary to complete prior to your appointment. Fluid advice and dietary advice is also a part of treatment.
Remember, as a Mother, it is just as important to look after your own health as it is to look after your baby’s health.
So, do you really need a Mummy MOT?
Yes you do! While a Mummy MOT® is not part of a standard post-natal rehabilitation plan in the UK, in France every new mother will receive the treatment as part of their 6–8 week check-up to address the more common issues faced after childbirth and to encourage the body to heal properly. It is never too late to book in for your Mummy MOT®. A Mummy MOT® programme can significantly reduce incontinence and pelvic pain at even nine months after giving birth. Even 2–3 years after having children, this can give a real insight into how your body has recovered after carrying your baby and delivering as well as how you are functioning day to day as a Mum with regards to your physical health. It really is never too late to benefit from some specialist advice and guidance. Remember our bodies are ‘plastic’ and we can re-wire nerve pathways and strengthen long forgotten muscle groups helping you live a more full and energised life.
Booking your Mummy MOT® is simple, and the process is absolutely nothing to worry about. All postnatal checks and exercises are safe and specifically designed to address your unique needs after childbirth, centred around stability, posture and core strength.
Simply click here to book and get ready to feel more like your old self again.